Experience

My Victory Is Guaranteed

Youth Profiles: Natasha Gondi learns to never give up on her dreams.

Natasha Gondi
Harrison, New Jersey

Living Buddhism: Natasha, what motivated you to start chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?

Natasha Gondi: My uncle and aunt introduced me to the practice in 2007, while I was in college. I only participated, however, because I was living with them and they held meetings at their home. Toward the end of college in 2010, I was struggling to find a job. Although I had impressive grades, I wasn’t able to advance beyond the first round of interviews each time. This is when I started chanting. Local young women’s leaders immediately came to my support, chanting with me and sharing SGI President Ikeda’s guidance from the publications. Soon after, I was offered a job at a top tech company in my home city of Bangalore, India.

Did you notice an internal transformation through your Buddhist practice?

Natasha: Definitely. Prior to chanting, whenever something negative happened, I would easily give up and lose confidence in myself. But through chanting, even if something didn’t work out, I had conviction that I deserved a better outcome. I also learned to encourage other people by sharing Nichiren Buddhism with them.

Natasha with young women's division members in front of the New Jersey Buddhist Center, May 2016. Photo: Meghna Damani.
Natasha with young women’s division members in front of the New Jersey Buddhist Center, May 2016. Photo: Meghna Damani.

What have you learned from SGI President Ikeda?

Natasha: Last year, when I finished my master’s degree at New Jersey Institute of Technology, I applied for the foreign student optional practical training visa, which would guarantee my stay in the U.S. for at least one year. I was devastated when my application was denied. I was encouraged to not give up and to chant to have a heart like President Ikeda, a heart that is undefeated. As I chanted, I kept in mind President Ikeda’s guidance, “Prayer is the way to destroy all fear. It is the way to banish sorrow, the way to light a torch of hope. It is the revolution that rewrites the scenario of our destiny” (Dec. 3, 2004, World Tribune, p. 8). My resolve grew stronger, and I determined to stay in America to contribute to kosen-rufu here. I applied again and was accepted! In November 2015, I started working for New York Power Authority with wonderful co-workers. I learned that when I align my personal goals with the great vow for kosen-rufu, my victory is guaranteed.